The Story of the Mikó Caste
The renaissance castle of its builder Hídvégi Mikó Ferenc, has been ravaged and raided by Turkish-Tatar troops in 1661, the ruined edifice being transformed into a fortified barrack by the newly installed Habsburg power by the year 1716. Until 1970 it has been serving military purposes, and then became the home of the Szekler Museum of Ciuc. The story of four centuries is caught out here, since the tracks of successive events have constantly piled up, keeping slumbering witnesses of earlier times. Going back from the present through scientific researches, the historical past gradually unfolds before our eyes. Archaeologists unravel layers beneath the face of the earth, analyzing the artefacts discovered. During mural researches art historians do similar work on rising walls progressing through layers (mortars, lime-washes, walled off doors, windows, embrasures, and stairs).
In our exhibition of castle-history we off er an insight to the first two centuries of the building with the help of objects and architectural elements discovered in situ, and we do this in an easily comprehensible way with short movies for our visitors.
Most of the walls are original while the vault is a result of latter reconstructions. Near the court-side window 17th century mortar- layers have been discovered with inscription fragments on the earliest. The show-case with layers playfully illustrates the order in which archaeologists come across various objects and materials.
Today’s single room has once had more premises, witnessed by the remains of demolished walls, doors transformed into windows, and imprints of vaults. The 17th century latrine, the stairway leading to the story, and the fountain inside the castle with its watercourse added in the 18th century are not interesting only by themselves: through the discovered objects the everydays of the 17th–18th century castle are outlined. With the help of the period short movie the visitor may size up how the discovered materials have ended up on the bottom of the fountain.
In the ‘big kitchen’ of the 18th century they were probably mostly cooking only for officers. During researches the stove and oven have been found, and also the place of the pillars holding the smoke-keeper. Based on these a reconstruction has been made that alongside the next store-room invites the visitor to a gastronomic time travel. The short movie shot at his location animates the bustling life of the long-ago kitchen.
The last room of the exhibition offers an opportunity to extensively familiarize with the military history of the castle. Through original 15–19th century weapons we present their evolution in the era and region, while exact copies proffer the experience of touch. To help the cognition of the building’s development and transformation serve the scale-model, contemporary architectural surveys, and 3D animation.